Big community projects take vision, time, and the commitment of many stakeholders. In the end, they are better than any individual could imagine alone. In 2017, when we started designing the new high school, the auditorium was an essential space, and many people came together to design, build, and create it. Last weekend that multi-year vision came to life with the amazing performance of “Tick, Tick…BOOM” on the stage, in that beautiful community space. The musical was so well done. Bravo to the cast, crew, teachers, and volunteers! I’m looking forward to many more performances in that space.
Monday will be a special day - an Approaches to Learning (ATL) Day for all students. It will be an asynchronous school day, and students will be able to engage in learning experiences of their choosing. Some students are working on projects at home, and many students and parents will be taking part in GIVE Day, with activities for students of all ages at Meridian High School.
10:00 a.m. - noon Elementary students packing Power Packs in the gym.
10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Middle school students pack Rise Against Hunger meals in the cafeterias.
11:00 a.m. High school GIVE Day ambassadors presenting a Service as Action panel in Innovation Commons.
GIVE Day is unique to FCCPS, something our community supports in a way that highlights the power of committing to something important together. It takes a huge amount of work from the student GIVE Day Ambassadors, parent volunteers, and school staff.
COVID MITIGATION CONTINUES EVERY DAY
In FCCPS, multi-layered COVID mitigation has been very successful. The approach, in use throughout the pandemic, has limited the number of school-based outbreaks and kept our schools open five days per week since March 2021. These are 4 key layers of mitigation.
Vaccinations are the best COVID-19 mitigation strategy.
FCCPS is one of the most highly vaccinated school divisions in the state.
Physical Distancing ensures that students and staff are 3 to 6 feet apart.
- Staff Vaccination rate: 99%
- Student Vaccination rate: 91%
- 5-11 year olds: 85% vaccinated
- 12-15 year olds: 94% vaccinated
- 16-17 year olds: 99% vaccinated
- 18 + years: 91% vaccinated
Mask-wearing is one of the most visible strategies.
Screening tests are free and available to all students and staff each week through the ViSSTA program.
Last week the School Board passed Policy JA. It is not a de-masking policy. It is a policy that requires continued masking by students. It does allow for a parental opt-out beginning in two weeks. The expectation is that everyone should continue to wear masks as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), whose health advice has been essential throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As a community, FCCPS will continue to require masks until the transmission is at a Moderate level, and a logistical "off-ramp" is in place. Parents will be able to exempt students from mask-wearing beginning February 14th, 2022 by completing the opt-out request, signing, and delivering it in person to the school office.
The staff of FCCPS is a caring group of people, who are purposeful in trying to create an environment where students will not feel marginalized for their (or their parents) masking or un-masking choices beginning on February 14.
IMPORTANT COVID LINKS
Use the FCCPS COVID Positive/Exposure Reporting Form to report all COVID positive cases and exposures. This form automatically alerts school staff to a case/exposure. FCCPS health staff will review the form, determine a “return to school date” and contact each family personally.
Falls Church COVID testing resources
The best and most important mitigation effort is to stop coming to school if you are sick.
Please continue to use the Daily Self-Monitoring Health Screening for all students.
FCCPS COVID By The Numbers
|Data:||Number of Cases for Week 22||Cumulative Since August 1|
|# of Student Cases:||34||313|
|# of Staff Cases||8||75|
|# of Students in Quarantine Due to Being a Close Contact||1||193|
|FCCPS Rate of Transmission||HIGH for Falls Church City|
HIGH for Fairfax Health District
Please note that this data is just a snapshot of FCCPS in total and is adjusted based on the outcomes of each contact tracing investigation. All FCCPS positive cases are included regardless of source. These data include parent/staff report, ViSSTA results, HD notifications, and healthcare providers.
Join me in wishing the Meridian High School Band safe travels and happy performing as they head to Florida this weekend for a long-awaited trip to perform at Disney! Back in March 2020, this was the first thing that we had to cancel at the start of the pandemic, so the trip can also be seen as a marker of our forward movement to normalcy.